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nut allergy and travel to turkey,anyone have any experience?

(19 Posts)
brimfull Thu 01-Feb-07 13:08:57

Do they use a lot of nuts in their cooking?

What is the general awareness of allergies in Turkey?

winterpimms Thu 01-Feb-07 15:29:19

I have been to Turkey with ds but we did stay in an all inclusive hotel, so didn't really eat out. At this particular hotel, they did actually have signs saying "with nuts" on the desserts.

Sorry, that is probably not much help.
The paediatric allergist did say to me that in her experience, it was better to stay half/board or all/inc as you could just speak to the hotel rather than face a different restaurant every night.

brimfull Thu 01-Feb-07 15:46:10

thanks for your reply winterpimms,reassuring about the nut warning.
We're actually staying in a villa so have the option of not eating out at all,but hopefully will find somewhere suitable.Must get one of those translating cards.

brimfull Thu 01-Feb-07 22:25:52

bump for evening crowd

moondog Thu 01-Feb-07 22:26:55

Ggirl,I live in Turkey a lot of the time and although am not on tourist track,I would advise being very careful.
They love nuts.

brimfull Thu 01-Feb-07 22:53:32

was hoping you'd see this moondog.
Right so extra vigilence then ,are cashews popular?

Looks like he'll be living on couscous,please tell me they sell couscous.

moondog Thu 01-Feb-07 23:14:36

Oh,it's for a child right?
They like walnuts and pistachios especially.
Steer clear of things like baklava and other pastries.They will contain nuts 95% of the time.

Food is great. They do a sort of couscous but big bread eaters.Great slads and grilled breads.
Is the allergy a serious one?

brimfull Fri 02-Feb-07 00:03:55

Yes ,he has an epipen,but so far we conclusively know he is severly allergic to cashew so avoid all nuts.
He is getting tested for specific nuts in the summer so we'll knwow more then.
We stay clear of pastries anyway ,may need to look into what cooking oils they use there.Over here most places use refined nut oil which is safe,but unrefined wouldn't be,so would need to check that out.

brimfull Fri 02-Feb-07 00:05:00

Actually grilled bread would appeal to him!

moondog Fri 02-Feb-07 08:45:56

Ggirl,I haven't come across many cashews in Turkey if any.
Their favourite oil is sunflower.
SE Asia is the place to watch for peanut oil.
I have a friend with such a severe allergy,that she had to cancel her gap year trip as it was too risky.

I'd get a card printed with the Turkish for
'I am severely allergic to....'
Don't take any chances.Insist on showing it to waiters,and the chef,even if they say they can understand what you are saying in English.

Hope you enjoy yourselves.Turkey is wonderful.

brimfull Fri 02-Feb-07 12:39:37

Thanks for your input moondog I really appreciate it.
Good to know that cashews aren't prolific.

schment Mon 05-Feb-07 19:54:16

I am allergic to pine nuts and walnuts (both of which are used freq in Turkey) but managed to survive a 2 week trip in Turkey with only one minor incident (due to my own carelessness). Things to avoid: definitely avoid pastries, turkish delight (sometimes has nuts, sometimes not -- I got sick from one that did)), stuffed grape leaves (I think I saw them there). I remember lots of pine nuts and pistachio nuts but don't remember seeing many cashews.

I'd be careful of couscous if it's got stuff mixed in with it as pine nuts might be tossed in...

I agree with moondog about making up a card. I only learned about 4 words in Turkish (which I already forgot) - thank you, hello, pine nut and walnut - and made do with a phrasebook but a card would have been helpful!

Chandra Wed 07-Feb-07 21:01:55

ggirl, we normally survive with the card in the local language and manage well.

How long are you staying? we normally take a lunch box with safe snacks everytime we go out just in case we can't find anything suitable (but DS is allergic to air so I don't expect you end up with so many problems).

I bake some free from everything brownies on the day before we leave and cover them individually with cling film (he can not have any single biscuit in the market) so when we stop for a coffee and pastry, he can join us with his brownie and rice milk tetrabrick. We ask for a cup for him so he doesn't feel left out

We took plenty of care to his nutrition while we are at home so.. we relax a bit during the holidays.

fay68 Wed 07-Feb-07 21:25:54

ggirl, I have a summer home there.. they're not really into cashews at all. I quite like them and have never been able to purchase any out there..But they do have foreign cuisine resyaurants such as Italian so still make sure you inform people everywhere you eat.
Main cooking oils are sunflower and particularly olive oil. However, lately modern family cooking is getting into nut and soya oils. So, if you ever visit someone's house also check there.
Stuffed vine leaves, stuffed peppers, etc. done in OLIVE OIL definitely have pine nuts. But, the 'hot' alternative (with mincemeat)usually doesn't. A few restaurants automatically stick walnuts into the salad, although I haven't come across it too often. So still, you must say (or show on a 2nd card) No Walnuts.
Having said all that, don't be too intimidated. Turkish people mostly prefer to eat their nuts alone as snacks and in pastries(also in some milk-based puddings)so it's rare that you will find hidden nut traces in basic soup or a chicken kebab!
Just use the same caution you would anywhere - just in a different language (Ilove the card idea)

Drusilla Wed 07-Feb-07 21:42:53

I've been to Turkey several times with my sister who is severely allergic to nuts and we found that restaurants etc did take us seriously when we checked ingredients etc. This was not too far off the beaten track though, so most people had good English. Most Turks were lovely and very eager to help! Also, this was some years ago, so presumably there is even more awareness now.

brimfull Fri 09-Feb-07 08:28:39

have only just seen the recent posts,thanks so much for your replies ,very reassuring.
Will definately get the card printed.We're getting quite a collection of these

TeddyCan1 Mon 15-Feb-16 17:37:39

Avoid any type of treenuts, chocolate, cookies, pastries, candy, egg roll, Thai food, Vietnamese food, Chinese foods,

pashmina696 Fri 19-Feb-16 17:40:58

pistachios are related closely to cashews so it is very common to be allergic to them both.

MrsWhirling Sat 20-Feb-16 00:27:14

Nuts are everywhere in Turkey, in Turkish cooking. Particularly in their desserts. I would take if possible translated cards.

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